If white sand beaches, Caribbean islands and colourful Mexican towns are your thing, Playa del Carmen is good place to start. You won’t be short of things to do in Playa del Carmen, and although it’s become somewhat of a tourist trap in recent years, your tanned skin and guacamole-filled belly will thank you later.
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Mexico’s Riviera Maya is home to affordable Airbnb’s and boutique lodges but what you’ll find the most are all-inclusive resorts. I stayed at the five-star Platinum Yucatán Princess All Suites & Spa Resort and it was one of the best I’ve ever stayed at.
It had everything you could want: swim-up pool bars, incredible buffet food and five other restaurants to eat at, great evening entertainment and sits right on the beach. Platinum Yucatán Princess is the perfect calm escape from busy Playa del Carmen, being an easy 15-minute ride away. Next door, the sister Princess resort is even bigger, livelier and has more pools to relax at and restaurants to enjoy as part of the all-inclusive package.
Treat yo’self and upgrade to a Platinum Deluxe Room with a jacuzzi on your balcony or swim-up room. Take relaxing to the next level with a spa treatment. I recommend the 3-hour ‘Caribbean Love’ – a body scrub, a silk and caviar body wrap, an all-over body massage, a facial and time to soak in the jacuzzi with champagne and chocolate covered strawbs. It really doesn’t get much better!
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There are so many places to eat in Playa del Carmen – from authentic Mexican cantinas to Western chains and family-owned restaurants. But if you’re looking for something a little more unique, there’s only one place to go: Alux. An underground restaurant set in a cave said to be 10,000 years old, Alux is on many a tourist’s list of things to do in Playa del Carmen. Go for drinks before heading to 5th Avenue to eat or treat yourself to some great, albeit expensive, Mexican food.
This one’s a tricky one as there are so many things to do in Playa del Carmen but if I had to choose one for you it would be to spend the day exploring the nearby cenotes and the neighbouring town of Tulum.
For those of you who don’t know, cenotes are natural freshwater sinkholes. Great for snorkelling and some even for diving, they’re a Mexican must. And the Yucatán area has somewhere around 6,000 cenotes alone! Some of the best are right next to each other off the main highway – Jardin del Eden, Cenote Azul and Cenote Cristiano.
Further down the coast is Tulum. You’ve probably seen this splashed all over Instagram and other travel blogs and online magazines. What used to be a sleepy beach town for Mexicans to holiday at is now a very popular, very chic town that should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
It’s just under an hour’s drive from Playa del Carmen, but if you stop off at the cenotes on the way it breaks up the trip quite nicely. In Tulum, spend a couple hours exploring the Mayan ruins that sit on the edge of the town overlooking the beach. It gets very crowded and hot during the day so I recommend going early morning when it opens at 8AM or later in the afternoon before it closes at 5PM.
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Note: This is a sponsored post by Platinum Yucatan Princess All Suites & Spa Resort, however all views and opinions are my own and are a result of my visit to the resort.